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Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

WILUA3I   VOX   HU31BOLBT.
Prussia; Steia also coiilci only Tent Ms indignation in
letters, Huniookit, however, did not eea>e to take
the warmest interest in the progress of his fatherland,
of humanity, and of freedom, and expressed his opi-
nions on the questions of the clay with, frankness in
private life.
He willingly retired from business, for lie had to
work on liis own field before his death, and achieve
greatness there. He carried no feeling of personal
anger with him to his retirement, and associated sub-
sequently with Bemsturif as with Stein. But it is
remarkable to        the manner in which he subse-
quently judged of Hardenberg'. Varnhagen von
Ense, that well-known artist in biographical descrip-
tions, had told kirn that he intended writing a life of
the state chancellor. Humboldt expressed Ms plea-
sure that such a task should be assigned to such
hands, and thus replied to TTarnhagen's letter (7th
May, 1830} : " My feelings towards this man (Harden-
berg) have always remained the same, even at the
time when we were entirely opposed to each other?
and I rejoice, therefore, that he will meet with a Mud
and considerate treatment at your hands, which he
deserves. It may in truth be said of him, that if "we
consider the events of 1810 to 1816 as the progress
of a drama., a poet could scarcely have formed a more
appropriate character for introducing them into Prus-
sia than his. I have frequently felt this, anci trembled
for the issue, at times when, ke seemeci to be in great
difficulties. But it is certainly true, that I ironlcl
rather for myself have resigned all active share in
this drama, that I might stand firmly above the events/*"
He, indeed, attached little importance to his own
share in the drama,, and to wliat had befallen Mm.
His brother Alexander repeatedly requested him,
shortly before his death^ to dictate something on the
Mstory of Ms dismissal His answer was            the
expression of profound indifference for        insignifi-
cant circumstances, with which he did not consider it
worth while to occupy himselú
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